Trees - the fantasy and the reality

Homesy

Member
Location
North West Devon
Ah....and hence why so little is planted. Well, that and the fact I'm a tenant.

I've crunched the numbers all ways, and a mixed age rotation is a very sound income on a diversified property.
Indeed, some estates I buy from, if management is good and marketing flexible, are coining it.

The de facto softwood management on a lot of UK upland is pants....a race to the bottom.
It's generally wall to wall sitka ( not unreasonable since it's the 'go to' species to make volume on exposed and wet sites), planted as unsympathetically as it's possible to do.
And then, instead of any hint of silviculture, it's left for 30-40 years (or until half of it blows over) then clearcut from the seat of great big willy waving harvesters.
The product is a nicely uniform garbage, sites that look like the battle of the Somme, the lifetime yield is less than half what it should be, and the bio-diversity ....er...isn't.
Couple that to it often being owned by absentee owners, and 'managed' by cutthroat corporates, and the work done by lads from miles away....local feelings often run high..
So what are you planting ?
My kids have just inherited some woodland would like know more.
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
The de facto softwood management on a lot of UK upland is pants....a race to the bottom.
It's generally wall to wall sitka ( not unreasonable since it's the 'go to' species to make volume on exposed and wet sites), planted as unsympathetically as it's possible to do.
And then, instead of any hint of silviculture, it's left for 30-40 years (or until half of it blows over) then clearcut from the seat of great big willy waving harvesters.
The product is a nicely uniform garbage, sites that look like the battle of the Somme, the lifetime yield is less than half what it should be, and the bio-diversity ....er...isn't.
Couple that to it often being owned by absentee owners, and 'managed' by cutthroat corporates, and the work done by lads from miles away....local feelings often run high..


We are in agreement - and it is this type of forestry I'm am dead against. Yet it is sadly exactly what you've written, is what the UK Govts targets and grants create - which is no good to man or beast!
 

glasshouse

Member
Location
lothians
I take your point.


No subsidies in my timber processing at all I'm afraid......simple commerce.
You could argue that my round timber suppliers have benefitted from subs -and knowing you, you will.

Burning coal better than burning wood?
Cobblers...it's carbon that was laid down 350 MILLION years ago, in a world that no longer exists.
Burning fossil fuels is changing our world in ways we've barely come to terms with.
Burning wood - harvesting method notwithstanding- is a short simple loop, like cow burps.
Bollox
Trees cut up and used in a housebuild are locked up carbon for 200 plus years
Thats what we want
Trees burnt for heating tractor sheds are worse than burning coal
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Trees cut up and used in a housebuild are locked up carbon for 200 plus years
Thats what we want
and what that wants/needs is effective preservatives ,or at least ongoing developement of ,
like galvanising of steel.

to much theoretical nonsense /distractions these days instead of useful long term real practical useful resource saving stuff done.
 

glasshouse

Member
Location
lothians
and what that wants/needs is effective preservatives ,or at least ongoing developement of ,
like galvanising of steel.

to much theoretical nonsense /distractions these days instead of useful long term real practical useful resource saving stuff done.
I wish housebuilding was 200 years, but I fear it would probably average out nearer 50!
Stop sidetracking!!!!!!
Timber locks up carbon in buildings etc, but doesnt lock up any when burnt for subsidy
 

egbert

Member
Bollox
Trees cut up and used in a housebuild are locked up carbon for 200 plus years
Thats what we want
Trees burnt for heating tractor sheds are worse than burning coal
I wish housebuilding was 200 years, but I fear it would probably average out nearer 50!
I am certainly supplying some timber which will be in service in 200 years.
(I offer a 'lifetime' guarantee on a lot of it, unless the customer puts it in the sea)
But the mainstream housebuilders are - so I'm told from within- designing life expectancy of mebbe 30-40 years...if the kids keep the gutters clear, and down pipes running.
......else they won't have paid the mortgage before the carp is falling down.


And if @glasshouse really thinks burning wood is more damaging per se than burning coal....well, there's not much we've got to talk about old chum.
 

egbert

Member
We are in agreement - and it is this type of forestry I'm am dead against. Yet it is sadly exactly what you've written, is what the UK Govts targets and grants create - which is no good to man or beast!
Taking a balanced view, I would observe that the sitka cloaks across D&G, borders, bits of N Wales et al are creating a very big industry.
I've tried- and failed- to try and find the direct employment figures, acre for acre, but I suspect there's more jobs all told than the land supported prior to planting.
(one of the obstacles in nailing the numbers down is that it involves several corporates, which aren't very forthcoming.

My ideal would be far more integration with ag, which defuses the animosity, and basic silviculture being a required part of any ag college course.
(But my application to be made emperor was returned)
 

egbert

Member
So what are you planting ?
My kids have just inherited some woodland would like know more.
It's a very big subject....
OK..At home -1000' up in 100" of rain-, I've been mixing Sitka with Scotch pine, euro larch, and now filling holes with wrc and DF.
(broadleaved element oak/sycamore/beech/ash.... but it's a smaller element, as I'm going to be lucky to grow much quality BLs for various reasons)

On some extreme exposure sites, I put holly and hawthorn in as shelter, with good results...but thats expressly for livestock

On what we jokingly refer to as my 'Eastern Estates', -300' and 700' respectively, both on app 40" rain, less Sitka, more DF and WRC.
I've given up on oak and chestnut, which I had heavily favoured, as the squirrels continually destroy them.
There's several eucalypts gone in lately, and if commercial nurseries were able to supply, I'd be straying into more diverse durable softwoods. Coastal Redwood, cryptomeria japonica, nootka cypress, macrocarpa.

Both the boy and I like to put in the odd wild card.
I set the odd walnut and Atlas cedar on lowland ground, and he's been dabbling in fruit trees on the edges.

PM me if you want help specific help...or if they have larch/wrc/oak/chestnut sawlogs to harvest.
 
I have a sneaking suspicion that integration of woodland with farm land is far more productive for both, however, being bought up with a conventional viewpoint, I could never ever try that (it just wouldn't feel right), my compromise is to plant hedges, with standard trees within the hedges. Went to a talk on ancient trees from the Woodland Trust at Groundswell last year, but there are no ancient trees on the farm here, I think that is because as soon as they get above a certain size they get blown over with the wind.
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Taking a balanced view, I would observe that the sitka cloaks across D&G, borders, bits of N Wales et al are creating a very big industry.
I've tried- and failed- to try and find the direct employment figures, acre for acre, but I suspect there's more jobs all told than the land supported prior to planting.
(one of the obstacles in nailing the numbers down is that it involves several corporates, which aren't very forthcoming.

My ideal would be far more integration with ag, which defuses the animosity, and basic silviculture being a required part of any ag college course.
(But my application to be made emperor was returned)

Those forestry jobs are not local and do not keep rural communities alive. You can walk the Galloway Forest, see the farms which are gone. The families in those glens kept the local shop and school going - all lost to support some unknown face in a city who manages the area...

The (highland) Clearances are thought of as happening a long time ago - I can tell you for nothing, they are still happening
 

C.J

Member
Location
South Devon
It would be better to burn coal than trees.

"Too many people also tend to see wood as better than oil or coal because the amount of CO₂ produced by burning a given unit is much lower for wood. But this overlooks the fact that you get considerably more heat from burning a unit of oil or coal than from wood. In other words, you have to burn much more wood to produce the same amount of heat, so the carbon emissions are actually much more than they appear. This leads people to greatly underestimate the amount of land we will need for trees if biomass power is to become a much bigger part of the energy mix. The Drax plant alone uses more wood than the UK produces every year, for instance."

The chipping and shipping uses more fossil fuel than.... just using fossil fuels. :scratchhead:
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
"Too many people also tend to see wood as better than oil or coal because the amount of CO₂ produced by burning a given unit is much lower for wood. But this overlooks the fact that you get considerably more heat from burning a unit of oil or coal than from wood. In other words, you have to burn much more wood to produce the same amount of heat, so the carbon emissions are actually much more than they appear. This leads people to greatly underestimate the amount of land we will need for trees if biomass power is to become a much bigger part of the energy mix. The Drax plant alone uses more wood than the UK produces every year, for instance."

The chipping and shipping uses more fossil fuel than.... just using fossil fuels. :scratchhead:

Yes!!
If I burn coal only in my cottage I use about 2/3 of a tonne to do all winter.

When I burn wood (seasoned hardwood - I clear all the farm windblown) I go through several tonnes!
 

DaveGrohl

Member
Location
Cumbria
Slightly off topic.
I heard that the Forestry Commission,have being using a computer model ( whatever that is ,I am not computer literate)for predicting the sustainability of how much timber they could harvest. Unfortunately they have now realised that the computer model was incorrect and that they have been harvesting a lot more than is sustainable!!!
Is the above true or not,thanks.
Welcome to the crazy world of computer modelling. The model’s only any use if the assumptions that are put in are any good. Crap in crap out. See also farm carbon toolkits, climate modelling, and myriad other examples.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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